Film-Philosophy Conference, Film-Philosophy Conference 2012

Explication of Schopenhauer’s ideas in Maderna’s Schopenhauer and Campbell’s Green Lantern – between the ethics and metaphysics

Atanaska Georgieva Cholakova


Arthur Schopenhauer’s thought has its grounds and projection in later European philosophical thinking, but what is notably significant is his influence on creative writers. This inquiry will consider a different perspective, expressing the particular effect of Schopenhauer’s philosophy on some movie titles or how for the first time the thought of the greatest pessimist in history of philosophy is expressed by image, play and visual sensitivity. As the title states, the main task of this inquiry is to problematize some specific reflections on Schopenhauer’s philosophy in the cinema. The main titles that would be investigated are Giovanni Maderna’s Schopenhauer (2006) as well as Martin Campbell’s Green Latern (2011).

The paper’s goal is to deliver a comment on how Schopenhauer’s ethics and metaphysics are incorporated in two differentiated ways in those movies. The first part of this research engages Maderna’s vision of the subjective interpretation as well as the expression of sensuality incorporated among people. We shall look at how Maderna reaches both of them and explicate the introspection of the human mind, its ambivalence as well as cognitive dislocation and existential contradiction of personality. All this is expressed in the context of a new knowledge achieved by the characters and the process of its assimilation.

Of equal importance would be a demonstration on how Schopenhauer’s metaphysical will is visualized as “willpower”: the visualized will as an energy source and engine of being, a basis of everything that exists. Green Lantern displays a comprehensive interpretation of the will as a ground of all being and in the same way as a creative positive power that differs from Schopenhauer’s metaphysical interpretation of the will, but engages Nietzsche’s thoughts on the subject. Therefore, the will in Green Lantern might be considered as a symbiosis of Schopenhauer’s and Nietzsche’s voluntaristic philosophy.


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About the Presenter

Atanaska Georgieva Cholakova
South-West University, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria